A WOMAN shared how she felt she had failed as a mother when one of her twins was born without an eye socket, nostril or left ear.
Instead of saying it was the happiest day of her life, Charlie Beswick described the day her sons were born as “the hardest”.
The doting mother was consumed with guilt after doctors broke the news that one of her boys was born with a rare facial deformity.
North Staffs’ Charlie recalled going into labor at 32 weeks before being forced to have an emergency C-section.
She was informed that one of the twins was breech and was rushed into surgery to deliver the tots.
But four hours later, her world fell apart as she had barely begun to bask in the bliss of motherhood.
Doctors told her little Oliver was fine, his twin Harry – now both 17 – has been diagnosed with Goldenhar Syndrome.
The complex condition present at birth typically stunts the development of the eye, ear, and spine.
And it meant her darling was born with no left eye, eye socket, nostril, left ear, a short, underdeveloped jaw, and a damning diagnosis.
Doctors warned the new mom her baby could have brain damage and never be able to walk as Charlie blamed himself.
She told the Mirror: “I felt like I was underwater. So it was like I could hear it, but it was garbled, I couldn’t process it until later.
“I think it was just the shock, it was awful. Also, it was the hardest day of my life and one of the most traumatic having my boys.
“Later my fiancé at the time said all I kept repeating was ‘I’m sorry,’ I was totally absent. Immediately I thought I had done it.
“But I was so desperate to find a reason and an answer – and in the process I attacked myself. I was incredibly hateful towards myself.”
The twins stayed in special care for five weeks, while Charlie was released after seven days and she felt helpless.
She resorted to “expressing milk like a maniac” to feel like she was doing something for her boys.
And instead of chasing after two newborns, she seethed with her thoughts and her traumatic birth.
Charlie began to believe her then-partner was blaming her for her baby’s health problems, telling herself she was a “terrible mom.”
She continued, “I went through the moves while the pros nodded and smiled in a sort of haze.
“I now call that ‘the lie we carry’ — the big smile we paint on our faces when someone says ‘if someone can do it, you can.'”
Parents were then informed that Harry could walk – but “held their breath” as he underwent further tests.
Their miracle baby was later diagnosed with autism, forcing the couple to reconsider their expectations of parenthood.
Charlie explained: “It was a huge struggle with myself, it was just my failure not to realize how beautiful the twins are.
“Although I could only see my failure, it wasn’t right. I don’t want that for other moms, I want them to be confident and calm.”
The toll of guilt and grief she bore eventually took its toll on her marriage and led to her splitting from her partner.
She even had to give up her full-time teaching job to devote herself full-time to caring before she became seriously depressed.
Charlie’s concerned mother eventually persuaded her to see a doctor in 2010, who prescribed her antidepressants.
She describes this move as the “watershed moment” in her life, as she realized she had no reason to feel guilty about Harry’s condition.
The mother of two was then inspired to become a mentor to mothers of disabled children, offering her advice and a shoulder to cry on.
She has started a social media community offering support after overcoming her experience.
Harry is now a happy and healthy 17-year-old despite his health struggles and Charlie describes their sons as her “greatest achievement in life”.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5754558/mum-guilt-baby-born-no-eye-socket-nostril-ear/ I thought I had failed as a mother when my little boy was born with no eye socket, no nostril or ear – I was crushed with guilt